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Khan vs Brook - Feb 19 🇬🇧 🥊


wandshogun09
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It’s only about a decade late but is it actually happening?

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SKY BOX OFFICE
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook

Natasha Jonas vs Chris Namus - Vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Title

Frazer Clarke vs Jake Darnell

Adam Azim vs Jordan Ellison 

Brad Rea vs Craig McCarthy 

Viddal Riley vs Willbeforce Shihepo

Charlie Schofield vs Germaine Brown 

 

TBA’s gonna be knackered. OK it’s a shocking undercard but whatever. Doubt I’ll pay for this anyway. Must admit, after giving up on Khan vs Brook a few years back, now it’s almost here I’m finding myself looking forward to it. Apologies in advance for this. It’s gonna be a long one. If you can’t be arsed then scroll to the bottom of this post and the videos I’ve embedded will tell you all you need to know.

 

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Amir Khan vs Kell Brook then. It’s finally happening. After how many years in the making? I’ve genuinely lost track of when the talk of this first really picked up steam but it feels like it’s been a lifetime now. I’d reached the point a while ago, like I think most had, where I just gave up on the fight ever getting made. But here we are. I suppose at this point, the sand timer is running out on both their careers and neither are exactly swimming in choices to make big paydays at this stage of the game. So why not finally pull the trigger? It’s lost a lot of its lustre, if this fight would’ve happened a few years sooner it would’ve felt like a bigger deal. There was a time when people were talking about this as a Wembley fight and it honestly didn’t sound ridiculous back then. It’s happening a few years later than it should’ve and I know a lot of people are over it now but I’m still up for it. Better late than never. It’s been quite a journey to get to this point so I’m gonna go through the whole timeline.

2004: Amir Khan bursts onto our screens during the Olympic Games in Athens where, at just 17 years old, he wins the silver medal, losing out in the final to Cuba’s Mario Kindelan.

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He immediately captures the public interest and his fights are watched by millions. Although he came up short in the final, there was real buzz around him coming out of that Olympics and people were excited about his future as a pro.

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Brook had got his start as a kid at Brendan Ingle’s Wincobank gym in Sheffield. A gym which produced the likes of Herol Graham, Johnny Nelson and Prince Naseem Hamed. 2004 is the year Brook makes his pro debut. He fights 5 times and goes 5-0 with 3 inside the distance.

2005: Khan’s last amateur fight is televised on ITV. Over 6 million people tune in to see him outpoint Kindelan, avenging the Olympic defeat in Athens. He turns pro in July and is 4-0 with 3 knockouts by the end of the year. Brook racks up another 4 wins himself and it’s a successful year for both.

2006: Six more fights for Khan, six more wins. Nothing particularly noteworthy but it’s all rounds in the bank. Same for Brook who gets another 4 wins. Going into 2007, Khan’s 10-0, Brook is 13-0.

2007: Another good year for Khan. He gets 5 fights in, wins them all and none of them go the distance. Stops Graham Earl in a round and gets dropped in the Willie Limond fight before coming back to stop him and win the Commonwealth title. By this time it had become apparent that Khan’s style was made for TV. The speed and volume of his punches made him so exciting to watch plus even this early in his career, at times he was showing vulnerability, the Limond knockdown being an early example, which always added to the edge of the seat feel in his fights. Brook only fights twice this year but it’s 2 more wins in the books for him.

2008: Five more fights for Khan. The year starts well, he wins his first 2 fights and becomes WBO Intercontinental Lightweight champ in April. In June he gets put on the canvas again by Michael Gomez before coming back to close the show himself. Like I said, exciting to watch but there were some warning signs there early. Which leads us to…

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The Breidis Prescott fight in September in Manchester was supposed to be just another run of the mill fight for Khan. The next step. The Colombian was 19-0 with 17 knockouts but he hadn’t really beat anyone of note yet and Khan came in as a big favourite. It was Khan’s first fight on Sky Box Office and he was expected to shine.

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54 seconds into the first round it all goes up in smoke. Disaster. I remember the fallout to this vividly. A mix of people being disappointed and gutted he lost and you also had the armchair critics that you get anytime a result like this happens. But there was definitely a section of the fanbase that seemed a bit too overjoyed with the way it went. Not saying it was definitely racially motivated but it was almost certainly racially motivated. Whenever a fighter loses, especially a fighter who’s been being hyped up and they lose to an underdog, you’re gonna get the piss-taking and photoshops and all that carry on. It’s inevitable. But there seemed to be a different nasty tone to the celebrating after this one to me.

Some of the criticism of Khan was fair though. Both for how the fight itself went, plus his switching up his coaches beforehand. I do think that was always an issue with Khan. Here he was just 19 fights into his career and still in his early 20s and already he’d gone through a bunch of different trainers. From Oliver Harrison to Dean Powell to a cup of coffee with the Mayweathers to Jorge Rubio. And then after the Prescott loss he binned Rubio as well!

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He finally settled (for a bit at least) on Freddie Roach and the Wild Card gym in LA. It seemed like a great fit and training with Manny Pacquiao, who was at his absolute peak at the time, was always gonna be a big boost. Not to mention the guidance from Roach himself. Khan’s first fight under Roach comes in December and he closes out the year with a quick win over Oisin Fagan in London. Brook’s 2008 was much more straight forward and low-key. He wins his 3 fights, becomes British Welterweight champion in June and successfully defends it in November.

2009: Big year for Khan. The attempt to rehab his image after the Prescott defeat is in full swing and in March he’s matched up with a legend.

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He fights Marco Antonio Barrera in Manchester. Barrera was past his best at this stage. He was 35 years old and over 70 fights deep into his career. He’d fought wars with the likes of Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao and had made British Boxing headlines when he beat Prince Naseem in 2001. Khan wasn’t getting peak Barrera, I think most felt like this was a good opportunity for Khan to catch a fading legend at the right time. But while he wasn’t in his prime anymore, it wasn’t like Barrera was completely shot in 2009 either. He was only a couple of years removed from a great fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in 2007 and had gone the distance with Pacquiao in their second fight later that year.

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Khan did come out on top but it wasn’t really ideal. A clash of heads left Barrera a bloody mess and the fight was called off in the 5th round. In July, Khan wins his first world title, at just 22 years old. He beats Andreas Kotelnik on points to become the WBA Light-Welterweight champion.

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He finishes the year with a title defence, blowing over Dmitry Salita in a round in December. Brook has another quiet but steadily successful year. He defends the British title twice and stops both opponents.

2010: Khan fights twice and he’s starting to mix with more names now. He stops Paulie Malignaggi in the 11th round of their Madison Square Garden fight in May. And finishes the year with a decision win in what I remember being a hell of a fight against Marcos Maidana in December.

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To say the Prescott defeat was firmly in the rear view at this point would be an understatement. Well, it should’ve been but it still got brought up all the time. And the fact that he was regularly putting himself in harm’s way in fights was as much a concern as it was an appealing part of his style to viewers. The Maidana fight especially was a rough one and he had to get through some dicey moments but he came through with the win.

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Brook notches 3 more wins. Becomes WBO Intercontinental Welterweight champ in March. And in September he stops Michael Jennings in Birmingham. I was at that show.

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😂 The ‘Magnificent Seven’. I remember very little of that night, other than Enzo’s horrific KO loss to Frenkel. But it was a good night. As 2010 draws to a close, Khan is 24-1, Brook is 23-0.

2011: Khan beats Paul McCloskey in April and gets another big name on his record in July, stopping Zab Judah in 5 rounds. Around this time Khan starts making a lot of noise about fighting Floyd Mayweather but it’s not to be. It was all about to go tits up again. In December, Khan loses a decision in another entertaining fight against Lamont Peterson. It’s a close one, with many including HBO’s Harold Lederman scoring it for Khan. But in the end Peterson gets his hand raised and walks away with Khan’s WBA belt. Brook stays on the winning track with 3 more victories.

2012: Khan vs Lamont Peterson 2 was ordered and supposed to go down in May but Peterson failed a drug test and was stripped of the title, Khan was reinstated as WBA champ. But it didn’t matter.

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Once again, Khan hit a roadblock in the form of Danny Garcia. Khan had been winning the fight until late in the third round when he got wobbled. By the fourth round it was all over. True to form, following the loss, Khan dropped Roach as his trainer. You see a pattern emerging here? He hired Virgil Hunter and finished the year with a points win over Carlos Molina.

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It’s a good year for Brook. He beats Matthew Hatton in front of a hometown crowd in Sheffield in March to become IBF International Welterweight champ. After the fight, he’s asked about a certain potential opponent.

“Of course I want Khan. I’ve been banging on about Amir Khan but I’m going to do my own thing and if that fight happens, it happens, and I’ll smash him.” - Kell Brook

In July he retains his title in a fantastic fight against Carson Jones on Sky Sports.

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Haven’t seen it in years but I still vividly remember watching that fight live and it was a cracker. One of those fights you go into not expecting anything special and it over delivers big time. He then put Hector Saldivia away in 3 rounds in October.

2013: Khan fights only once, taking a decision off Julio Diaz. Once again, Khan suffers a knockdown but soldiers through to win on points. Never a dull moment. Brook fights twice. Stops Carson Jones in 8 rounds in their rematch, then gets Senchenko (who’d retired Ricky Hatton the previous year) out of there in 4. Going into 2014, Khan is 28-3, Brook is 31-0.

2014: Khan picks up points wins over Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander in the US, winning both clearly and looking really good in the process. Still under Virgil Hunter here as well. Brook wins two more, including what will probably go down as his best career win when it’s all said and done - beating Shawn Porter by decision in August to become IBF champ.

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Mega close fight as I recall. Another one I wouldn’t mind revisiting if I get time. The year wasn’t all positive for Brook though, he was attacked and stabbed on holiday in Spain around this time. This was the second time he’d been involved in this kind of incident, he was also stabbed back in 2007 outside a nightclub in Sheffield.

2015: Relatively uneventful year. One more for Khan. He outpoints Chris Algieri in May. Brook recovers from the stabbing and wins a couple more fights, including a TKO over Frankie Gavin at the O2 in May. Always a good time when Gavin gets a twatting.

2016: After chasing the Mayweather payday with no joy, Khan finally bags a big fight.

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He goes up in weight and takes on Canelo Alvarez in May in Las Vegas. Canelo at this stage was 46-1-1 and on fire coming off a win over Miguel Cotto. The feeling going in was it would be a story of Canelo’s power vs Khan’s speed. And Khan was having a lot of success early on. I remember I had him up on the cards after 5 rounds and thinking he looked really good. But by this point, there was always that niggling feeling watching Khan, especially when he was in with a big puncher, that it was just a matter of time. That time came in Round 6.

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Brutal! 

Brook would also get his own brush with greatness. After dispatching of Canadian Kevin Bizier in 2 rounds in March, talks started about Brook fighting Jessie Vargas or Danny Garcia. The Vargas fight was the front runner but would ultimately fall through. Brook instead moves up in weight to fight Triple G.

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Gennady. Gennadyevich. Golovkin.

This was a ballsy as fuck move for Brook. Or a foolish one, depending on your viewpoint. GGG was undefeated at this point. 35-0 with 32 not making it to the final bell. And he was just a terror. There weren’t guys lining up in Golovkin’s own weight class to fight him so for Brook to come up 2 divisions was gutsy. GGG proved too much. Brook fought like a lion and didn’t shy away in the exchanges. He stood and traded and landed some big shots himself. But in the end, Golovkin overwhelmed him.

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Brook got his eye socket fucked up and Dominic Ingle threw the towel in the 5th round. This would be Brook’s first defeat and, while he gained a lot of fans and a ton of respect for how he fought, it came at a price. He was probably never quite the same again and the damage to his eye has been a recurring problem in the years since.

2017: There were reports that a Khan vs Pacquiao fight was in the works in Abu Dhabi. Would’ve been cool to see. The fight itself would’ve been action packed plus there’s always an added layer of intrigue when former teammates fight each other. Wasn’t to be though. There was also talks of Khan vs Brook at this time but Khan ends up sitting out 2017 and Brook fights Errol Spence in Sheffield instead. Fighting Triple G and Spence back-to-back probably wasn’t the wisest move and Brook wound up getting stopped late in the fight.

2018: Khan signs a 3 fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom. Finally, after years of back and forth, Khan and Brook were under the same promoter. Immediately both men were set up with ‘warm up’ fights, presumably designed to build to their clash on Sky Box Office later in the year. Khan’s also arsing about with his trainers again. He brings in Joe Goosen around this period but it’s fairly short-lived. Brook bashes up Sergey Rabchenko in 2 rounds in March. He again talks about fighting Khan post-fight. Khan’s opponent winds up being some sod called Phil Lo Greco. Most notable thing about the whole thing is the hilarious pre-fight press conference where Khan ends up chucking a glass of water over him.

The fight itself was the blowout it should’ve been, with Khan breezing through him in 39 seconds. He then fights Samuel Vargas in September and wins on points. It was another lively one and Khan got dropped yet again but came through with the W. Brook closes out the year with his own points win over Michael Zefara and doesn’t wow anyone. Another year down, another year of the fight not getting made. Lots of talk of it but Khan’s still pushing to fight Pacquiao. The talk about Khan vs Brook rumbles on with Khan requesting that Brook could weigh no more than 157lbs on fight night after rehydration. It was all getting silly.

2019: Khan’s back with Virgil Hunter. You keeping up with this? He lands a big fight against Terence Crawford but gets stopped in 6 at MSG. He gets back in the win column with a joke of a fight against Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia. Brook doesn’t fight at all.

2020: COVID. Khan doesn’t fight all year. COVID. Brook has his turn getting battered by Terence Crawford in November. COVID.

2021: Nothing from either man.

2022: It’s on.

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Still give a fuck? Are you rooting for one or the other? Personally, I’m just glad it’s finally happening. I don’t have especially high expectations but I still think it should be a good fight. Even this late in the day. They’re both at a similar stage in their careers so it’s not like it’s a lopsided mismatch one way or the other. It’s still a pretty well matched fight. And it’s just one of those where, even though it’s not happening at the ideal time, it’s better than it never happening at all. They should both be well up for it as well. After all the talk, the bragging rights that are on the line etc, it really is one for their legacies. They’ve both had their ups and downs but they’ve always been each other’s main rival despite never actually colliding between the ropes. So even though it’s not prime versions of either, it’s still potentially a career defining fight for both. It’s obviously nowhere near the monster Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson was but in some ways it’s a similar thing for me. Purely as a fight, Lewis vs Tyson meant little in 2002. It wasn’t a patch on what it could’ve been in both mens primes. But I was still glad it happened and it does still add to Lewis’ legacy despite how far gone Tyson was by then. Even though Lewis accomplished plenty anyway, if he’d retired never having Tyson’s name on his record it would’ve always felt a little bit unfulfilling. Similar on a smaller scale here with Khan and Brook. It needs settling.

Khan and Brook on Ringside in 2012;

Khan vs Brook press conference;

Khan and Brook face off;

Khan vs Brook promo;

Khan vs Brook: The Full Story;

That one’s about 40 minutes and goes into the whole thing. Would’ve just posted this but didn’t find the video until I’d already typed this whole bastard post up.

Guessing there’ll be a ‘Gloves Are Off’ over the next week or two as well but this’ll do for now. I think that’s quite enough, especially considering knowing these two and their history, chances are this gets cancelled at the last minute anyway. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Personally, I'm looking forward to it. We can talk about both fighters being past their best, but I'm actually of the belief that they're just really good fighters who didn't quite make the cut at the very top. 

Look at their records. Khan has lost to Crawford, Canelo, Garcia, and Lamont Peterson outside the Prescott fight. We all know what Crawford and Canelo are all about, and Garcia was undefeated at the time he fought Khan and has since only gone on to lose to Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Spence Jnr, while Peterson at the time had only lost to Timothy Bradley.

Brook meanwhile has three losses on his record. Crawford, Spence Jnr and Golovkin. 

So, neither guy has hit the slide where they're being smacked around by chumps. Sure, they're getting older, but I still think this is a cracking fight in the making. They're both around the same age, so that works as well. 

 

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its a weird one because it felt like had convinced themselves they were over it, then as soon as it got announced the same people got excited, me being one of them.

It makes sense because they both seem to be on the slide at the same time, both reached the top, and both seem to be on their way down together. 

As for an early prediction, im leaning Khan on points. Brook was always a guy who relied heavily on timing and if thats slightly off I see Khan being busier and winner a decision. I'll probably change my mind before the 19th.

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Nice one.

Anyone heard anything more about the undercard for this? I know they’re rarely anything to write home about and Boxing cards are usually all about the main event, I get that, but this one looks especially weak and we’re only just over a week out now. 

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...and now the Natasha Jonas fight is off.

Of course the main event sells the show, but this is the weakest PPV i can ever recall seeing. They've spunked the entire budget on the top of the bill.

Edited by Egg Shen
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